This page is about a Fate/stay night route. For other uses, see Unlimited Blade Works.
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Unlimited Blade Works is one of the routes in Fate/stay night.

The heroine and love interest of this route is Rin Tohsaka, with her servant Archer being the servant deuteragonist of the route. The player must complete the Fate scenario before being able to enter Unlimited Blade Works. Completing this route is required to access the final route: Heaven's Feel. Although it is possible to enter the Unlimited Blade Works route without having finished the Fate route by declining Tohsaka's offer of cooperation, entering the route this way leads to an unavoidable bad end.

The route places the greatest emphasis on character development and themes compared to the other routes, particularly its main cast, and its main theme is "struggling with oneself as an ideal".[1]

Plot[edit | edit source]

Day 1 - 3[edit | edit source]

The first three days of Unlimited Blade Works occur as in the Fate route, until Saber ends her duel with Lancer. Shortly after repelling Lancer, Saber prepares to attack Archer and Rin. However, Shirou recognizes Rin and uses his Command Spell to stop Saber before she can defeat and wound Archer. Grateful to Shirou for saving her and Archer, Rin helps tell him of the Holy Grail War, and guides Shirou to the church where the priest Kirei Kotomine explains the rules and nature of the Holy Grail War. When he is told of the disaster caused by the previous Holy Grail War, Shirou, wishing to prevent another disaster, agrees to participate in the Holy Grail War as the seventh Master. Outside, Rin warns Shirou that they will be enemies in the future, but she is willing to form a brief truce for the night to head home safely in return for saving her with a Command Spell.

However, as they leave, Illyasviel von Einzbern attacks them with her Servant Berserker on the path from the church. With Archer's assistance from afar, and the advantageous terrain of the church cemetery, Saber is able to easily hold her own against Berserker. Saber beats Berserker to a standstill, and manages to force an opening. Before she can strike a fatal blow, however, Archer suddenly fires a powerful sword-like arrow with intent to hit both Saber and Berserker. Shirou saves Saber from Archer's attack, and is possibly injured in the process. While Berserker is unharmed, Illya takes an interest in Archer, and decides to leave the fight with Berserker. Shirou passes out from exhaustion/his injuries.

Day 4[edit | edit source]

Seeing visions of a landscape filled with infinite swords, Shirou wakes to find that Rin had brought him back home and waited while he recovered. She reminds him that, while they did help each other last night, they are still enemies, before leaving. Meeting with Saber, Shirou discusses the Holy Grail War further with her, with Shirou placing more faith and trust in her due to her successful fight with Berserker. 

Suddenly receiving a call from Taiga Fujimura to bring lunch to the school; he obliges, but is forced to bring Saber, who is unwilling to let him wander alone. While exploring the school, Shirou introduces Saber to Taiga and Sakura Matou as a foreign acquaintance of Kiritsugu, which they reluctantly accept. Still suspicious of Saber, Taiga and Sakura stay the night at Shirou's house. 

Meanwhile, Rin and Archer investigate a supposed gas leak incident in the Shinto district, deducing it to be the work of a Servant residing at the Ryuudou Temple: Caster, who is discreetly sapping magical energy from innocents from afar. Disgusted, Rin resolves to take down Caster. Archer questions her, believing Saber and Shirou to be a more immediate target, and Rin assures him that she will show no mercy to Shirou.

Day 5[edit | edit source]

Shirou dreams of the night of Kiritsugu's passing - where he promised to take up his father's dream of becoming a Hero of Justice in his place. He heads to school, convincing Saber to reluctantly stay behind, assuring her he will be safe in a public area. Shirou learns from friend Ryuudou Issei and teacher Souichirou Kuzuki that fellow classmate Ayako Mitsuzuri has gone missing, after being last seen with Shinji Matou, who is also absent. With his sister Sakura staying at Shirou's house the night before, she is unaware of her brother's whereabouts or actions. Concerned for Ayako's safety, Shirou remains at school to investigate.

However, after the other students and teachers have left school, Rin confronts Shirou, admonishing him for not bringing Saber. Rin attacks Shirou with her Gandr shots, who can barely defend himself with Reinforcement magic. Rin pursues him through the school in a one-sided battle, demanding that he surrender his Command Spells. However, they are suddenly interrupted when a student is attacked and drained of life energy. While they are tending to the student, Rin is attacked by the assailant, but is saved by Shirou, who is speared through the arm. Shirou heads out alone into the woods to confront the attacker, the Servant Rider. After catching a brief glimpse of Shinji, Shirou is quickly overpowered and strung up by Rider. Rin arrives and drives Rider away. 

In return for saving her again, Rin takes Shirou to her house to tend his already-healing wound. Shirou and Rin bond, and agree to form a truce to handle Rider's Master, who has placed a bounded field over the school with the intent of killing innocent students to fuel Rider. In contrast to Rin, Archer shows animosity towards Shirou as he escorts him home, provoking Shirou with cynical remarks.

At home, Shirou learns that Ayako was found earlier, in a state of confusion, but uninjured. Concerned by Shinji's apparent involvement, Shirou tells Sakura to stay the night again, and Taiga does so as well. He explains the day's events to Saber, who warns him to be careful regarding the conditions of Rin's truce.

Day 6[edit | edit source]

In the night, a dream is shown of a man who, wishing to become a hero to save everyone he saw, made a contract with the World to become a Heroic Spirit to pursue his ideal. However, cornered by his own unattainable ideal, he reaches an uncompensated end, alone at a hill of infinite swords. 

At school, Shirou is surprised to find Shinji. He claims he had no involvement in Ayako's disappearance, but gleefully insults her, spreading harmful rumors of what had happened, to Shirou's anger. Suspicious of him, but with no hard evidence, Shirou leaves him and continues to investigate the bounded field with Rin, erasing its sources where they can find them to slow its progress.

After Rin leaves, however, Shirou is confronted by Shinji, who reveals himself as the creator of the bounded field, and Rider's Master. He claims Rider is uncontrollable and the bounded field is merely a precautionary measure in case he is attacked. He offers to form an alliance with Shirou, but is rejected. While he assures Shirou that Sakura is uninvolved, he asks him to send her home, to which Shirou obliges. At home, Shirou decides to begin training with Saber, while keeping quiet about Shinji. 

That night, Caster mind controls Shirou and makes him walk to the Ryuudou Temple, intending to take away his Command Spell. Saber pursues but is obstructed by the temple guardian, Assassin. Suddenly, Archer intervenes and saves Shirou from Caster. Having gotten past Assassin, Archer deduces that they are cooperating, to which Caster reveals that she is in fact, the Master of Assassin, having broken the rules to summon an imperfect Servant. Archer fights Caster, and saves Shirou again after he falls into the line of fire of Caster's spells, to both Archer and Shirou's dismay. Trapped by Caster's spell, Archer outwits her with his swords Kanshou and Bakuya, and wins the duel, gravely injuring her with the same arrow he used against Berserker - Caladbolg II.

However, Archer spares Caster, and allows her to go free, despite her threat to innocents. Caster proposes an alliance with them, noting Shirou and Archer are alike. Both refuse, with Archer hesitating before doing so, and Caster withdraws. Archer and Shirou get into a quarrel over Caster, with Archer willing to let Caster go free to defeat Berserker at the cost of innocents, and Shirou, unwilling to sacrifice innocent lives. Enraged, Shirou rejects Archer, after which Archer attempts to kill Shirou. Injured, Shirou escapes, interrupting Saber and Assassin, who both defend him against Archer, Assassin allowing Saber to take Shirou home while he holds off Archer.

At home, Saber and Shirou discuss Archer's apparent betrayal, with Shirou showing surprising admiration for his swordsmanship.

Day 7 [edit | edit source]

Shirou dreams again of the hill of swords, and discovers to his horror that his body is also made of swords.

Training in the morning with Saber, Shirou's technique has surprisingly improved, with Saber realising he is copying Archer's technique to great success. At school, Shinji is irritated by Shirou's alliance with Rin, and Rin searches out for Shirou to discuss strategy during lunch.

Rin apologizes to Shirou for Archer's actions and tells him that she used a Command Spell to order Archer to never attack Shirou while the truce holds, and they bond further. Rin reveals that there is a fourth Master at the school, and that Shinji had attempted to cooperate with her that morning, and she rejected him. Shirou realises too late that Shinji would be provoked by this, and at that moment, Rider activates the bounded field, Blood Fort Andromeda, preparing to consume the inhabitants of the school. Rin is distressed by the harm dealt to the students, but Shirou calmly assesses the situation and summons Saber with his second Command Spell. 

However, they are confronted by Dragon Tooth Warriors. Saber remains behind to hold them while Shirou and Rin fight their way to the source of the bounded field. However, there, they find Rider already dead from a single blow by a unknown assailant, and a terrified Shinji, who flees as the bounded field falls. Saber reveals that Caster had summoned the Warriors, and was also present, revealing Caster's Master as the fourth Master at the school.

Meeting with Archer as Kirei handles the school cleanup, Archer callously insults Rider's defeat, irritating Saber. He deduces that Caster's Master is a mere puppet being controlled, and they resolve to search for Caster's Master at school the following day. 

Day 8[edit | edit source]

Shirou continues to dream of the thankless hero, who continued his futile path of saving all in his sight. Constantly betrayed and blamed by those he saved, who did not know his intentions, his path always ends at the illusion of a hill of infinite swords, with no regrets as long as he could fulfil his ideal.

Suspecting Issei, who lives at the Ryuudou Temple as its heir, Shirou forcibly searches him at lunch for a Command Spell, and is relieved to find none, proving Issei's innocence. Issei notes that an unusual woman has been living at the Temple, and that both Shinji and Sakura are absent from school.

Meanwhile, a still terrified Shinji runs off to the Kotomine Church, seeking shelter. However, seeing that Shinji still has the will to fight, Kirei grants him the use of Gilgamesh as a new Servant.

Shirou either meets with or calls (with her initially mistaking his voice for Archer) Rin, who is spying on Gilgamesh loitering near the Matou household, informing her of Issei's innocence, or runs into Leysritt, one of Illya's maids, at the shopping district. If running into Rin at the Matou house, Shirou learns that Rin knows about Sakura's visits, and she asks him an odd question about his opinion on being adopted.

At home, Saber learns of Shirou's dream of becoming a Hero of Justice from Taiga. When Saber asks why he admires said heroes, Shirou finds himself unable to answer, realising he merely adopted his dream from Kiritsugu, wishing to become like him. He struggles with his dream, plagued by Archer's words deconstructing his ideals.

Day 9[edit | edit source]

Rin dreams of the knight who became a hero understood by no one, a dream she has seen many times before. She sees how his altruism and drive to save others was taken advantage of, and betrayed, and eventually led to his death at the hands of someone he had "saved". Despite this, he had died satisfied.

This time, the dream continues, and she witnesses him forging a contract with the World, becoming a Heroic Spirit, a Counter Guardian in order to continue pursuing his ideal after his death. However, due to the nature of his contract, he would forever only be summoned to protect humanity from its own sins. As such, he could only be summoned to disasters that have already happened, to clean up and kill those who had caused them, again and again. Betrayed by his own ideal, the knight who loved and devoted himself to humanity could only be shown its ugliness even after his death.  

Rin wakes, realising that she had seen Archer's memories - and his history. Meanwhile, Shirou continues to dream of Kanshou and Bakuya, discovering he has a preference for Archer's weapons. Meeting with Issei at school, Shirou learns from him that teacher Souichirou Kuzuki also lives at the Ryuudou Temple, and that the woman at the Ryuudou Temple is Kuzuki's fiancee. Deciding it is enough evidence to suspect Kuzuki, Rin and Shirou plan to ambush him on his way to the Temple.

Rin, Shirou and Saber attack Kuzuki at night, and Caster herself defends him, revealing him as her Master. Despite not being a magus, and being unaware of Caster's actions as her puppet, he accepts her actions and takes a stance against his students.  A former killer, Kuzuki surprises them with his innate fighting abilities, easily defeating Saber in one-on-one combat with his Snake techniques and his fists enhanced by Caster's magic. Kuzuki attacks Rin and Shirou, nearly killing them. However, Shirou manages to forcibly use Projection and his dreams to create copies of Kanshou and Bakuya, briefly holding his own against Kuzuki to protect Rin. Saber manages to recover with Caster distracted, and forces Kuzuki and Caster to withdraw to the Temple. Shirou reveals that he had also practiced in Projection as well as Reinforcement.

However, on returning home, Shirou's Projection, having overloaded his Magic Circuit, causes him extreme pain and his left side to go numb.

Meanwhile, Gilgamesh and Shinji investigate the Matou basement, with Gilgamesh explaining his belief that modern humanity is ugly and dispensible. With Kotomine turning a blind eye to their actions, they head off to retrieve the current vessel of the Holy Grail.

Day 10[edit | edit source]

Shirou wakes to discover his left side has become completely numb, impairing his daily functions. He misses Rin's strategy meeting at school, and as a result, she comes to his house to host the meeting instead. Taiga is surprised to see her, but reluctantly allows the "study session" to continue. 

Forming a strategy to deal with Caster, Rin decides to set a trap to lure Caster out of the Temple. In the meantime, Rin and Shirou bond over their histories as magi, but Rin is irritated after learning about Shirou's dream and lack of self-worth, pointing out that him and Archer are very alike. Rin comes over to stay at Shirou's house, preparing to execute her plan tomorrow.

While training his magic in his shed with Saber, Archer arrives, explaining that Shirou's numbness is due to overloading his underused Magic Circuits. He helps heal him to ease the numbness and improve his Circuits, explaining that he went through something similar. Before leaving, he continues to deconstruct Shirou's ideals, warning him that his ideals are only borrowed and not his own and denouncing it as a false life.

Day 11[edit | edit source]

In his sleep, haunted by Archer's words, Shirou is conflicted on the true origin of his ideal - whether it is merely a borrowed ideal, taken from Kiritsugu in admiration for his being saved by him. 

Rin announces that she is taking Shirou on a date, bringing Saber along. They head to Shinto to explore the city and enjoy themselves on their date. However, Shirou is unable to have fun, believing himself unworthy of such a happy life due to his trauma and lack of self-worth, which irritates Rin.

On returning home, they find Caster has broken in, holding Taiga hostage, demanding that Shirou and Saber surrender to her. Aware of Shirou's traumatic past, she tries to persuade him to join her in exchange for Taiga's life. Shirou refuses, and Caster instead demands he hand over his Command Spell. Unwilling to let Taiga die, Shirou willingly gives up his left arm to Caster, to Rin and Saber's horror, and Caster draws her Noble Phantasm, Rule Breaker. Saber rushes to defend Shirou, but he stops her with his final Command Spell, allowing Caster to strike Saber with Rule Breaker, breaking her contract with Shirou. Now under Caster's control, Saber is forced by her Command Spell to attack them, injuring Shirou when he defends Rin. Saber manages to resist long enough to let Shirou and Rin flee with Taiga to Rin's house.

With Shirou's Command Spells taken, Shirou is no longer a Master and out of the War. Rin leaves him and Taiga at her house to recover (Saber's healing power also gone), stating he no longer has to fight. Discussing with Archer, she deduces from his actions that he knew Saber in his past, which he does not deny. Archer inquires if the command preventing him from harming Shirou is void, but Rin asserts that it holds until Shirou himself forfeits the War. They leave to follow Kuzuki and Caster on their own.

Shirou wakes, unwilling to give up, and attempts to follow Rin and Archer. He discovers a jewel pendant in Rin's room, identical to the one he found after being stabbed by Lancer, realising that Rin was the one who saved his life then. He tracks down Rin and Archer to a skyscraper in Shinto, wishing to join them to stop Caster and save Saber. Rin objects, wishing to keep him safe and stop him fighting as he is no longer a Master and thus powerless. She beckons him to forfeit before leaving with Archer. 

Meanwhile, Caster tasks Assassin with continuing to guard the Ryuudou Temple gate, as she prepares to relocate to the Kotomine Church in search of the Holy Grail vessel, independent of Kuzuki.

Returning home, Shirou refuses to forfeit the War, and resolves to recover and find Rin when tomorrow comes.

Day 12[edit | edit source]

Caster, having taken over the church and apparently killed Kirei, is unable to find the Holy Grail vessel. In the meantime, she tortures Saber in the church basement with her Command Spell, in an effort to break her and make her submit completely. However, Saber's high magic resistance proves to be an obstacle, prolonging the process. Kuzuki arrives and finds Caster, to her horror, learning of her plan and theft of Saber. To her surprise, he accepts her plan, choosing to stay with her to assist her instead of returning to the Temple.

Meanwhile, Shirou sets out to Shinto to find Rin, with little success. As night falls, Rin ponders Archer's past, seeing that he had grown weary after being shown the ugliness of humanity for eternity, and began loathing the ideal he once protected to his death.

Shirou heads to the church for advice, only to witness her and Archer confronting Kuzuki and Caster in the basement. To Caster's surprise, Archer deduces her identity as Medea, the treacherous princess of Colchis. However, to Rin's shock, Archer suddenly betrays Rin, claiming that Caster cannot be beaten, and offering to side with her for a better chance of victory. Caster breaks and claims Archer's contract using Rule Breaker. Shirou saves Rin from Kuzuki, projecting Kanshou and Bakuya. In exchange for his service, Archer asks Caster to let Shirou and Rin escape.

Outside, Rin berates Shirou for returning and pushing himself, but relents after he points out it was more painful for her to watch. In the cemetery outside the church, they open up to each other - Rin confesses her regrets and many mistakes, but Shirou reassures her to keep her resolve, and confesses his feelings for her, and although she is reluctant and embarrassed, she eventually thanks him and accepts his help again. He returns her pendant, and she is astonished to discover that there are two identical pendants.

They return to Shirou's house to heal, prepare and plan. Realising they need allies to stand against Caster, they decide to ask Illya and Berserker for their assistance. As Heracles, Berserker would be a natural enemy of Caster, a fellow Greek hero.

Day 13[edit | edit source]

Caster remembers her past after being summoned by her first Master, a magus who had distrusted her - after killing him and severing their contract with Rule Breaker, she was left without magical energy. On the verge of disappearing, she fled and was found by Kuzuki, who had saved her and returned her to life at the Ryuudou Temple. Since then, he became her new Master, with her devoting herself to him. Archer meets her, discussing her nature as an Anti-Hero.

Shirou dreams of the Fuyuki fire ten years ago, recalling how he had believed that the ideal to save everyone was beautiful. Admiring such an existence, he swears to never regret his path even if he is proven wrong. Waking up, Rin and Shirou set out to the Einzbern Castle to meet Illya. 

Unfortunately, they have arrived too late: Shinji and Gilgamesh have gotten there first. Entering the ruined castle, they witness Gilgamesh and Berserker locked in battle. Berserker, burdening himself with protecting Illya, is unable to press the advantage, and is slowly defeated again and again by Gilgamesh. At Berserker's tenth death, Gilgamesh binds the Servant with the Chain of Heaven, before executing him. However, after Gilgamesh blinds and stabs a now defenceless Illya, Berserker returns a final time, breaking free from the Chains, but is killed by Gilgamesh with Gae Bolg. Angered, Shirou emerges from hiding to confront Gilgamesh.

Illya, in her dying moments, remembers her past with Berserker: summoned earliest in the War, the two were forced out into the wild winter by the Einzberns to train and fend for themselves. Initially hateful of Berserker, Illya comes to bond with him after he saves her from a pack of wolves, becoming lone and unusual friends. Illya passes away peacefully upon finding Berserker's disappearing body.

Gilgamesh rips Illya's heart from her body, then prepares to kill Shirou. Shinji stops him to gloat, but Rin reveals herself to threaten Shinji's life. Gilgamesh, seeing Rin as a suitable vessel, relents and leaves with Shinji and Illya's heart. Seeing Shirou, left in despair after being unable to save Illya, his former enemy, Rin realises that Shirou is already broken, his worldview warped by the trauma he suffered of ten years ago. Rin is angry, wanting Shirou to live for his own sake rather than that of others, but Shirou is certain that such a life is not a mistake.

With no plan and a new foe in Gilgamesh, the two remain at the castle into sunset. However, Lancer suddenly emerges, and offers his help to defeat Caster. Explaining that his Master intends to cooperate, and distrustful of Gilgamesh, Lancer had chosen Rin and Shirou as allies out of personal preference. They accept.

Returning to the Kotomine Church, they form a plan, with Lancer distracting Archer, while Rin and Shirou take on Caster and Kuzuki.

Day 14[edit | edit source]

As the trio arrive at the church the next morning, Rin informs Shirou that only one jewel pendant exists. Confronting Archer in front of the church, Lancer fights Archer, while Rin and Shirou enter the church to confront Caster and Kuzuki respectively.

Outside, Lancer and Archer duel to a standstill. Archer provokes Lancer with a well-placed insult, and angered, Lancer throws Gae Bolg to kill Archer in a final blow. Archer summons the shield Rho Aias, which blocks the lance at the cost of destroying Aias completely and heavily injuring Archer's arm. Archer concedes the duel, and points out that Caster is no longer supervising them. Lancer realises that Archer had planned this all along and leaves, his job complete.

Meanwhile, Shirou and Rin continue to duel Kuzuki and Caster. Shirou holds back Kuzuki, continuously projecting copies of Kanshou and Bakuya as they break, draining his energy and is soon overpowered. Caster and Rin compete in magic, with Caster easily nullifying Rin's jewels and spells. However, before Caster can deliver the final blow, Rin surprises her by suddenly entering hand-to-hand combat, magically reinforcing her limbs. Caster, lulled into a false sense of security by their prior magical duel, is unable to quickly adjust, and Rin easily defeats Caster in physical combat. Kuzuki rescues Caster from Rin, and they are left at a stalemate.

No longer underestimating them, Caster attempts to use her Command Spell to completely dominate Saber and send her against Shirou and Rin. But before she can, Archer arrives, and using Shirou's own spell chant to their surprise, attacks Kuzuki with seemingly projected swords. Caster is impaled protecting Kuzuki, and dies confessing her love to him. Kuzuki, unwilling to forfeit, attacks Archer and is killed.

With Saber freed, Archer reveals that he was only faking his loyalty to Caster in order to eliminate her, as well as use her Rule Breaker to remove his contract with Rin and allow him to do what he has planned since the beginning – kill Shirou. Saber attempts to defend Shirou, but both are easily beaten by Archer, who prepares to kill Shirou after restraining Rin. However, Rin makes a new contract with Saber, restoring her powers. Newly empowered, Saber continues to defend Shirou, asking Archer why he wishes to kill him. Archer counters by pointing out Saber's own foolish wish, and that someone will eventually save her.

With that, Archer reveals his true Noble Phantasm to the group: the Reality Marble, Unlimited Blade Works, a world filled with copies of the infinite swords Archer has seen in his lifetime. He attempts to kill them with his swords, but Shirou counters them by projecting exact copies of Archer's barrage. Running low on magical energy and without a Master, Archer exits his Reality Marble, and kidnaps Rin as his hostage. Shirou and Archer agree to meet the day after at the Einzbern Castle to settle their battle, after which he leaves with Rin. Shirou and Saber leave, and explain the situation to Lancer outside. Lancer, disgusted with Archer, decides to continue their alliance to rescue Rin. 

While unconscious, Rin realises that Heroic Spirits, outside the axis of time, can also be summoned from the future, and even into the time they lived in. Waking bound in the Einzbern Castle, she questions Archer as to whether he hates humanity, to which he has no answer. As night falls, Shirou, Saber and Lancer head for the Einzbern Castle, with Saber swearing to be Shirou's shield to the end.

Day 15[edit | edit source]

The next day, Archer is met by Shinji and Gilgamesh, who arrive to retrieve Rin. Unable to fight Gilgamesh due to his deteriorating state, he strikes a deal to hand Rin over to them after killing Shirou. Leaving to confront Shirou, Gilgamesh insults Archer, calling him out as a "Faker".

Shirou, Saber and Lancer arrive at the Einzbern Castle, confronting Archer, revealed to be the Heroic Spirit EMIYA: Shirou Emiya from an alternate future, the hero who was betrayed by the ideals he once fought for. Lancer goes to rescue Rin, while Saber stays to observe Shirou and Archer's battle. Archer explains how he was left with nothing but regrets after becoming a Guardian, summoned only to fight and kill, again and again, to save the greater good. Forced time and time again to only see the disasters and horrors humanity can wreak on themselves, he grew to despise his own ideal, for rendering him nothing more than a janitor that could not save, but only cleaned up after the damage was already done.

Now seeking to escape his fate as a Heroic Spirit, his final wish is to be summoned to his own time, where he can kill his past self and disappear. He considers this an act of mercy, sparing Shirou from his eventual fate of seeing his ideals betray and crush him. However, Shirou continues to reject Archer, swearing that he will not regret his choice as he did. They duel in single combat in the castle hall with their projected swords as Saber observes.

Lancer finds and rescues Rin from Shinji. However, before he can free her, Kirei, still alive, suddenly appears, revealing himself as Lancer's Master. He explains to Lancer that he is cooperating with Shinji to obtain Rin, and reveals to Rin that he was the one who had betrayed and killed her father in the previous War. Kirei orders Lancer to remove Rin's heart, intending to make her the Holy Grail vessel. Lancer refuses, and Kirei instead uses his Command Spell to make Lancer stab himself. However, Lancer survives long enough to stab and kill Kirei before he kills Rin, and drives away Shinji. After setting Rin free, Lancer activates his Ansuz rune, burning the room and Kirei's body as he dies, bidding Rin farewell.

Shirou continues to face off with Archer. While the quality of his projections is initially inferior, Shirou begins absorbing Archer's talent and abilities, slowly improving as the fight drags on at the cost of his body. However, he also begins seeing Archer's memories, and witnesses for himself the futility of his ideal. He wavers, allowing Archer to gain the upper hand. Archer continues to pressure Shirou, and reveals what Shirou has constantly denied: that his ideal is not his own, and is merely borrowed from Kiritsugu out of admiration for him. Archer continues to beat away, calling his dream false, an imitation and hypocritical, only driven by an obsession to become like Kiritsugu.

However, despite this, Shirou continues to stand. He realises that despite his ideal not being his own, he saw the ideal itself - a wish to save everyone - as being a beautiful way to live even if it is unattainable, and that he will continue to pursue it without regrets as long as he believes in it. Empowered by Avalon within him, even without a connection to Saber, Shirou relentlessly and wildly attacks Archer again, asserting that his dream is not a mistake. 

Archer, despite having an opening to kill Shirou, falters, amazed at Shirou's unwavering resolve, convincing him that he is not taking the wrong path, and he will have no regrets, no matter the repercussions. Due to his hesitation, Shirou strikes the winning blow. Archer is defeated, and concedes Shirou as the victor.

Gilgamesh confronts them, having watched the battle, and attempts to kill Shirou. Archer defends Shirou, taking the mortal attack. He entrusts Shirou with defeating Gilgamesh before he is seemingly killed. Gilgamesh reveals himself as the Archer Servant from the previous Holy Grail War, who had incarnated after being poured on by the contents of the Holy Grail. Gilgamesh explains the nature of the Holy Grail as a vessel that uses the magical energy of the seven summoned Servants as fuel to open a gate to the Origin.

However, having seen the inside of the Holy Grail, he reveals the Grail as being corrupted, only filled with curses, now named "Angra Mainyu", the devil of Zoroastrianism, All the World's Evil. He tells him of his intention to open the Holy Grail to flood humanity as a test - to purge the weak with the Grail's curse and rule over the strong that remain.

The confrontation breaks up when the fire started by Lancer engulfs the whole castle and destroys it, forcing Gilgamesh to leave. He catches up with Shinji and inserts Illya's heart into his body, mutating him into an incomplete incarnation of the Holy Grail, and takes his mindless body to the Ryuudou Temple.

That night at Shirou's house, the trio resolve to stop Gilgamesh and destroy the Holy Grail, Saber forsaking her own wish to do so. With Gilgamesh's base at the Ryuudou Temple, they plan to have Saber distract Gilgamesh at the front gate, while Shirou and Rin head around the back to free Shinji and stop the Grail before helping Saber. Realising that Shirou can use Unlimited Blade Works to counter Gilgamesh, Rin forms a bond with Shirou to give him mana by having sex / transplanting her Magic Crest to him.

Day 16[edit | edit source]

Shirou, Rin and Saber reach the Ryuudou Temple for the final battle. However, unexpectedly, Saber is blocked by Assassin, still guarding the mountain gate. Assassin reveals himself as a fictional Heroic Spirit, and wishes to have a final duel with a worthy swordsman before he disappears - Saber. 

Rin and Shirou reach the Holy Grail, at the temple lake, its body bloated into a fleshy mass due to its incomplete nature, corrupting the lake with its black cursed mud. With Saber distracted by Assassin, they are confronted early by Gilgamesh. Shirou remains behind to hold off Gilgamesh with his projections while Rin heads out to pull Shinji's body from the Grail. Angered by the faker, Gilgamesh and Shirou begin their duel.

Saber clashes with Assassin, unable to get past. Assassin unexpectedly blocks Saber's sword, bending his own, but forcing Saber into a position where he can use his complete Tsubame Gaeshi. Knowing Saber has a duty to uphold, he wishes to end the duel quickly, even damaging his weapon to do so. Out of respect for Assassin, Saber reveals Excalibur in return.  

As Rin reaches the Grail's body, using her magical jewels to barely resist the cursed mud, Shirou continues to battle Gilgamesh, countering each of his Noble Phantasms with his own projections, but is slowly outpaced as his connection to Rin falters. Gilgamesh draws Ea, a sword Shirou cannot trace, and fires it at him. Meanwhile, Assassin executes his complete Tsubame Gaeshi. However, Saber spots an opening caused by his sword being bent, and uses it to dodge the technique, striking the fatal blow. Saber leaves to fulfill her duty, while the defeated Assassin disappears, satisfied.

Shirou manages to survive the blast from Ea (astonishing Gilgamesh), but is unable to project further. Gilgamesh derides Shirou's ideals, noting the irony in them also being fake. However, Shirou accepts his ideals as fake, but continues to believe in them as beautiful - and realises the true nature of his magic. Saber arrives to assist, but Shirou assures her he can defeat Gilgamesh alone, asking her to assist Rin. Saying their goodbyes, Shirou apologizes for being unable to save Saber before she leaves. Defending against Gilgamesh's attack with Rho Aias, Shirou activates his own Unlimited Blade Works, revealing the true nature of his magic - not to create swords, but to create a world filled with infinite swords. 

Saber arrives to assist Rin in stopping the Grail. Rin, unable to escape with Shinji, commands Saber to use Excalibur to destroy the Grail, using a Command Spell to stop her entering the cursed mud. However, Rin is freed by the sudden reappearance of Archer, who, with a rain of arrows, clears a path for her to escape and return to the shore with Shinji. With Rin and Shinji clear, Saber uses Excalibur to completely destroy the Holy Grail's body. 

Shirou fights Gilgamesh to a standstill, the swords in Unlimited Blade Works easily and perfectly countering the swords of Gate of Babylon. Despite Gilgamesh owning countless Noble Phantasms, having not mastered any of them due to their sheer number, he is unable to best Shirou in skill - a fatal flaw that a lesser Servant who has mastered a single Noble Phantasm would not possess.

With the contest now a matter of brute force and output, Shirou is able to instantly match all of Gilgamesh's attacks with a projected copy from Unlimited Blade Works, thus always holding the advantage and being a step ahead. Outmatched, Gilgamesh reluctantly attempts to draw Ea, but Shirou anticipates it, and slices Gilgamesh's arm off with Kanshou and Bakuya. Gilgamesh concedes victory to Shirou, admitting his strength. Suddenly, the energy from Excalibur causes the Reality Marble to collapse, returning them to the temple.

In a final act of desperation after its destruction, the void of the Grail appears on Gilgamesh's body, attempting to consume him as the new core. Gilgamesh, knowing that a fellow Servant cannot become the Grail core, attempts to escape the void, wrapping Shirou with the Chain of Heaven to pull himself out. Archer arrives, and shoots Gilgamesh with a sword to the head, finishing him off. The Grail void consumes his body, and vanishes for good. The battle is won as dawn rises, with Rin as the victor of the Holy Grail War, and Shirou finally rests from exhaustion.

Rin reunites with Archer. Before disappearing, Archer asks her to take care of his younger self, hoping that her care of Shirou will change the future and grant his wish to save Shirou from his ideals. Rin promises to do her best to save Shirou from Archer's fate, and live for his own sake, only requesting that he does the same for himself. In the end, Archer assures Rin that he has found his answer, and disappears with a genuine smile - the same as Shirou's.

Good Ending[edit | edit source]

This ending occurs if greater than 4 Saber affection points and fewer than 8 Rin affection points are obtained before Saber destroys the Holy Grail.

Shirou wakes at home in the aftermath of the War, and is surprised to discover Saber alive and well. It is revealed that Saber did not disappear after destroying the Holy Grail, and is able to maintain her contract with Rin as her familiar. Remembering Archer's words, Saber entrusts Shirou with providing her an answer as to whether her wish is wrong, wishing to watch over him to the end to hear his answer.

Shirou, Rin, and Saber live happily together in the Emiya household, with Rin and Saber planning to train Shirou to become a proper magus.

True Ending[edit | edit source]

This ending occurs if greater than 8 Rin affection points are obtained before Saber destroys the Holy Grail.

Saber, after destroying the Holy Grail, begins to disappear. Inspired by Archer's own revelation, Saber chooses to forsake her wish for the Grail of her own will. Satisfied that Rin will take care of Shirou, Saber disappears.

A month after the War, the school year ends. The aftermath of the War is handled by Kirei's new successor, with Kuzuki officially considered missing. Shinji, as he heals, seemingly starts to mend his relationship with Sakura, apparently humbled from being saved. Rin is officially in a romantic relationship with Shirou, who has been training in magic under her as an apprentice, planning to become a proper magus to follow in Kiritsugu's ideals.

Rin plans to head off to the Clock Tower after her graduation, having received admission as the Tohsaka successor. She offers Shirou a place as her apprentice, to train him as a proper magus and help him lead a happy life. Shirou accepts, still recalling his duel with Archer. He vows to catch up with Archer with Rin's help, and find an answer at the end of his path.

Bad endings[edit | edit source]

  • Third Death: On Day 3, if Shirou decides to do what Rin said, Shirou will run away from the battle and return home. After his Command Seal fades away and realizes that Saber died, Shirou tries to go back from the battle but gets stabbed in the heart unknowingly by Lancer.
  • Texture: On Day 5, if Shirou decides to jump to the stairs, Shirou runs for his life but unfortunately gets hit with a Gandr shot and gets infected with a cold, making him unable to run away. Rin places her fingers on Shirou's neck and the screen fades out. The next day, Shirou wakes up not having any recollection on what happened yesterday or anything related to Saber, the Holy Grail War or Rin. This ending will happen if you haven't completed the Fate route, and can also happen in the Fate Route if Shirou decides to decline Rin's proposal on Day 4.
  • Spider's Captive: On Day 5, if Shirou decides to use a Command Spell, his left arm below the elbow gets cut off by Rider for trying to use it.
  • Hypnos: On Day 8, if Shirou decides to ask Issei about the unfamiliar woman in the Ryuudou Temple, Caster's implanted spell takes over Issei's mind. He slashes Shirou's stomach and stabs his own neck with a knife.
  • Killer: On Day 9, if Shirou decides to help Saber, he charges at Kuzuki and swings his wooden sword at him to pass through him. But Kuzuki breaks the sword with a punch and blows off Shirou's left foot with the returning blow. Kuzuki kills Rin and then Shirou with his fists.
  • Hazy: On Day 11, if Shirou decides to obey Caster's proposal of joining together, he gets controlled by Caster and eventually killed by Rin after obtaining the Holy Grail.
  • Artificial Noble Phantasm: On Day 12, if Shirou decides to go to the church for advice, Caster disables him and turns him into a wand for projection magic.
  • Sword and magic: On Day 12, if Shirou decides to appear before Caster and Kuzuki before Archer betrays Rin, Kuzuki uses a Command Spell to take control of the captured Saber's will in order to even the odds. As both Caster and Saber attack, Archer knows he cannot protect his Master, not even bothering to tell her to run. With no way to counter-attack, the screen fades out.
  • One Conclusion: On Day 13, if Shirou decides not saving Illya or declines Lancer's help, he will die in the battle against Archer at the church.
  • Heavens Fall: On Day 16, if Shirou decides to take Gilgamesh with him, they are both sucked into and melted by the Holy Grail.

Anime original scenes[edit | edit source]

Ufotable's 2014 anime adaptation includes a number of changed scenes and original scenes written by Kinoko Nasu.

  • Episode 3
    • Artoria uses her Mana Burst skill in her final full power strike against Berserker, managing to take one of his lives in the process. Due to suffering such a severe injury, Archer's Caladbolg II was able to successfully hit him, taking one more of his lives.
  • Episode 15
    • The start of Gilgamesh fighting Berserker is shown. Gilgamesh tests out the limits of God Hand, recognizing that he has to use his greatest treasures to damage Berserker. He tells Berserker to stop protecting Illya and fight him directly to have any chance of winning.
    • Illya's past is shown, haunted by a mental specter of Irisviel telling her of Kiritsugu's "misdeeds" and goading her to kill Shirou. She sees similar illusions in a homunculus disposal area, the homunculi describing their purpose and telling her that the family will give up completely should she fail. She later meets Leysritt and Sella for the first time, and they show her Berserker.
    • Gilgamesh seemingly finishes off Berserker while he is chained by Enkidu, but Berserker breaks free after Illya has passed and makes one final charge at a surprised Gilgamesh.
  • Episode 23
    • The wishes of humanity are shown to be converging and strengthening the Grail.
    • Gilgamesh explains to Shirou that going all out against him would mean it would be his own loss due to his pride.
    • Gilgamesh uses Ea against a giant arm manifested from the Grail.
  • Episode 24
    • The Lesser Grail begins to manifest as a humanoid Avenger. Rin uses a Command Spell to force Saber to destroy the Grail before Archer saves her and Shinji. Saber resists until they are safe, and Rin uses a third Command Spell to give Saber more magical energy.
    • Gilgamesh does not immediately draw Ea when he says that he needs to get serious after Shirou triumphs in their melee confrontation, instead pushing him back and attacking him with the full might of the Gate of Babylon. Shirou successfully manages to deflect every sword launched at him, even using Rho Aias to block an all-out attack from every direction, before closing the distance and chopping off Gilgamesh's arm right after he grabs Ea.
    • Shirou manages to land a final blow on Gilgamesh and runs out of magical energy naturally. Gilgamesh admits that Shirou was victorious in their battle due to having forced him to become serious, and prepares to finish off Shirou before the Grail swallows him.
  • Episode 25
    • Shirou and Rin shown to be studying at the Clock Tower. Rin and Luviagelita Edelfelt briefly scuffle in a self-defense class after Luvia flirted with Shirou.
    • Shirou and Rin go to Glastonbury to visit the grave of Saber so that Shirou can give her a proper goodbye.
    • Shirou is offered to be officially accepted into the Clock Tower, but has differing thoughts about his path as an ally of justice. He turns down the offer, briefly meeting Lord El-Melloi II, who says Shirou's dream is idiotic, but honorable. Rin decides to follow him in his travels though she remain affiliated with the Clock Tower.
    • At the very end, an adult Shirou is shown traveling the desert that Archer visited in his past after contracting with the world.

References[edit | edit source]

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